Friday, 5 March 2010

Minister admits scale of cuts in training exercises

A few days ago Liam Fox MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Defence, tabled a written question asking the government how many training exercises originally planned for 2010 have already been cancelled.

In reply Armed Forces Minister, Bill Rammell, admitted that 55 exercises had so far been cut. However, he also said that: "Success in Afghanistan is our main effort, and will remain our principal commitment for as long as it takes. Our approach at this time must be - and is - Afghanistan first. All exercises that better prepare our forces for operations in Afghanistan will continue but those exercises that are considered not to directly support our effort have been examined critically and, where appropriate, cancelled."

The training exercises cut were:

I don't know how many training exercises are undertaken each year but 55 sounds like a lot. Snatching short-term savings by cutting the training budget is bound to have long-term implications for the future effectiveness of the Armed Forces especially as they should be prepared for combat in a variety of warzones.

[not sorry to see "French Connection", "Tricolour" and "Asterix" go, but great shame about "Roman Eagle"]